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Regrets…I’ve had a few

Redfest is quickly approaching. I won’t be going this year (for the third or fourth year in a row). I’m more interested in getting alumni autographs than current players, and while there are a couple of names on the list that have not been at the past 20 events, there aren’t enough to make me want to go. Besides that, I’ll be out of town that weekend.

Back in 2008, I attended one of my first Redsfests. And I experienced one of my biggest baseball card-related regrets. I even documented it on the blog…

Cueto no Votto

That Joey Votto card that I didn’t buy for $3 is difficult to come by these days. Last time I searched for it, I couldn’t even find it on eBay. There are a couple listed right now; the cheapest is $23.99 plus shipping, and that’s more than I generally pay for single cards.

I could have had the Votto for $3.

The Johnny Cueto? A couple bucks plus shipping on COMC.

Insert sad face emoji.

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Chad Jones (2013 Draft Pick)

Chad Jones drafted in ninth round by Cincinnati Reds 2013 MLB Draft

In the ninth round, the Cincinnati Reds took former LSU two-sport star Chad Jones, who actually was a third round pick in 2010 for the NFL’s New York Giants as a safety, but a car accident took away his foot speed and his chance at gridiron greatness. He turned his attention to baseball, and is convinced that he can play at the major league level.

Click here to see in 2010 Topps rookie card for the Giants.

Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for the “fun card.”

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Scott Brattvet (2013 Draft Pick)

Scott Brattvet drafted by Cincinnati Reds 2013 MLB Draft

No info on Brattvet on the Draft Tracker site, so let’s turn to

2012 (JUNIOR): Tied for the team lead in victories with Jeff McKenzie and Taylor Aikenhead (6)…was 6-5 with a 4.75 ERA…posted three complete games in 14 starts…struck out 66 in 91 innings.

2011 (SOPHOMORE): Led Santa Ana College in appearances (26)…posted a 1-1 mark with two saves…struck out 24 in 28.2 innings.

2010 (FRESHMAN): Made 23 appearances last season for a total of 26 innings at Santa Ana College…went 3-0 record and two saves with a 4.85 ERA while holding batters to a .298 batting average…Had 24 strikeouts…named second team All-Conference.

HIGH SCHOOL: A 2009 graduate of Mission Viejo HIgh School…coach was Chris Ashbach…earned second team All-South Coast League as a junior and as a senior.

PERSONAL: Born July 21, 1991…son of Tom and Kriste Brattvet…a kinesology major.

Thanks again to TWJ contributor Patrick for this “fun card.”

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Tyler Mahle (2013 Draft Pick)

Tyler Mahle drafted by Cincinnati Reds 2013 MLB draft

Teams love projectable lefties and Mahle definitely fits this description. Right now his fastball will sit in the high 80s but he should see an uptick in velocity as he fills out. His curveball and changeup need a lot of work at the next level but both have the chance to be average or better. He has very smooth mechanics and a repeatable delivery, leading many to believe that he will have good command in the future. Mahle also has a great feel for pitching and is very aggressive on the mound. He is committed to play at UCSB where his brother Tyler plays.

“His curveball and changeup…both have the chance to be average or better.” That doesn’t sound like the most glowing report, does it? And he has a brother named Tyler? But I thought his name was Tyler??? Is he from a rural town in Vermont? (Obviously a simple editorial oversight, happens all the time, no big deal. A quick skimming of UCSB’s baseball roster shows a Greg Mahle who pitches and plays first base.)

“Fun card” supplied by TWJ contributor Patrick.

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Zach Weiss (2013 Draft Pick)

Zack Weiss drafted by the Cincinnati Reds 2013 MLB draft

Two versions of sixth round pick Zach Weiss from UCLA. Strangely, there is no write-up on Weiss on the MLB Draft Tracker.

Zack Weiss is not the son of Walt Weiss

I did a little research to find out if there was any relation between the Bruins pitcher and the former A’s shortstop and 1988 American League Rookie of the Year Walt Weiss. Zach is not Walt’s son, but past that I could find nothing.

Both “fun cards” by TWJ contributor Patrick.

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Cory Thompson (2013 Draft Pick)

Cory Thompson drafted by Cincinnati Reds 2013 MLB draft

Thompson, a legitimate two-way prospect, has presented scouts with a challenge this spring. There is still a split opinion about what position he will play as a professional. On the mound, Thompson throws in the low-90s with a good curveball and changeup. But at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Thompson is undersized for a right-hander. Thompson is an excellent athlete, which helps him on the mound and as a shortstop. Thompson has good hands at shortstop and a good arm. Offensively, he makes consistent contact and has good speed. Thompson is committed to South Carolina, where he would continue as a two-way player.

Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for the “fun card.”

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Ben Lively (2013 Draft Pick)

Ben Lively drafted by Reds in fourth round

Lively has never wowed scouts with his raw stuff, but he has quietly put together a solid college career. He isn’t afraid to attack hitters with his four-pitch arsenal even though he doesn’t feature a plus pitch. Lively’s fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider is his best secondary offering. Listed at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds and out of Central Florida, Lively has ideal size for a right-hander. He commands all four of his pitches well and his delivery creates some deception. Lively has performed well in a few high-profile matchups this season, beating Jacksonville’s Chris Anderson and Marshall’s Aaron Blair.

“Fun card” by TWJ contributor Patrick.

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Cory Hahn (2013 Draft Pick)

Cory Hahn drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks 2013 MLB Draft

In 2010, Cory Hahn was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round. Sure he would be drafted again in a few years, the ballplayer decided to hone his skills on the Arizona State University diamond rather than in low-level rookie ball.

In his third game at Arizona State in 2011, Cory Hahn was paralyzed from the chest down while sliding into second base.

The Arizona Diamondbacks decided to give Hahn a chance in baseball anyway, drafting the player who wore #34 in the 34th round a few days ago. No, Hahn will never be able to play baseball again, but he has a baseball mind and the Diamondbacks want him to use that mind for their organization. While we do not know the specifics at this time, they plan to offer him a full-time job with the team in some capacity.

This is a great story, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the coming months and years. Congrats Cory!

Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for the “fun card.”

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Mark Armstrong (2013 Draft Pick)

Mark Armstrong Drafted by Cincinnati Reds 2013

Another great “fun card” from TWJ contributor Patrick. I love the mash-up of 2008 Topps and 2005 Topps…it looks great! Here’s the report on Mark Armstrong, the third round pick for the Reds:

Armstrong is a strong, athletic right-hander from just outside Buffalo. While his present stuff is good, it isn’t as enticing as his upside of having three at least Major League-average offerings. Armstrong’s fastball sits around 90 mph and he mixes in a hard, downer curveball and changeup. Scouts think he has the potential to improve thanks to clean mechanics and his 6-fooot-3, 200-pound frame. Despite playing football and hockey in addition to baseball and not having as much game experience as his Southern counterparts, Armstrong already earns high marks for his pitchability. He is committed to Pittsburgh.

Fun Cards Submission: 2008ish5 Topps Kevin Franklin (2013 Draft Pick)

Kevin Franklin Cincinnati Reds Draft Pick 2013

In the second round, the Cincinnati Reds dipped into the high school talent pool and selected Kevin Franklin from Gahr High School in California. TWJ contributor Patrick combined elements of the 2008 and 2005 Topps designs to come up with this “fun card.” Franklin is currently a third baseman and is committed to play college ball at Arizona State.

Franklin stands out for his plus power and his ability to use it in games. His aggressive swings produce towering home runs. With that swing, however, come strikeouts and questions about his ability to make enough contact against elite pitching. If Franklin isn’t able to make the necessary adjustments as a professional, it won’t be for lack of effort. He earns high marks for his makeup and passion for the game. Franklin is a capable defender at third base with a solid arm, though a move to first base may be in his future. He is committed to Arizona State.

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